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Loston Harris, Jazz House Big Band and Dion Tucker Headline at Jazz House Kids Benefit, February 20th
(Published: January 27, 2016)

(Montclair, NJ 1/22/2016) - Jazz House Kids, a nationally recognized arts organization with a mission to transform young lives through music, mentoring, education and apprenticeship, is planning its 8th annual Body & Soul fundraiser on Saturday, February 20, 2016. Returning to Van Vleck House & Gardens in Montclair for the second year, Jazz House Kids will transform the historic site into three Roaring '20s music venues including a NEW, tented Winter Garden Ballroom on the front lawn for dancing. One of the area's biggest winter events, the evening is hosted by longtime Montclair residents Susan & Chris Gifford, the DeSalvo Family, Holly English & Fred Smagorinsky and Rhonda & Bob Silver. The event is also supported by more than 20 Body & Soul Host Committee Members.

The "Early Show" 6:30-8:00 pm - $250:
The Jazz House Messengers, a quartet of exceptionally talented, emerging Jazz House Kids young musicians, provides the backdrop for a special Patron Event featuring an exclusive tasting of exceptional vintages, artfully paired with some of the finest cuisine from the Jockey Hollow team. DeSalvo and Sevrens will be on hand to pour, inform and field oenological questions. Patron tickets to the "Early Show" include admission to the "Main Set" starting at 8:00 pm.

The "Main Set" 8:00-11:00 pm - $150:
The "Main Set" heats up the evening with music from the Roaring '20s, when jazz was the standard in dance halls, roadhouses and speakeasies across the country.
- Dance music by the award-winning Jazz House Big Band directed by Julius Tolentino will be featured in the tented Winter Garden Ballroom (sponsored by Nancy Northup and James Johnson). Recently, the Jazz House Big Band was named a finalist and invited to compete in the 2016 Charles Mingus High School Competition and Festival. This is the fifth consecutive year the organization will be represented in the competition. The Big Band will feature soloists from the Jazz House Vocal Academy.
- Acclaimed pianist and vocalist Loston Harris brings his legendary cabaret to the Side Car Night Club room. Blending traditional jazz, gospel and blues with his own unique stylings, his music has been described as "a combination of humanity and genius." For more than a decade, Harris has headlined at the legendary Bemelmans Bar located in The Carlyle in Manhattan, which has a legacy of hosting great cabaret and jazz greats including Bobby Short, Eartha Kitt and Elaine Stritch.
- Hot '20s jazz performed by the talented Dion Tucker Quartet will be featured in the Jazz House Speakeasy room. A Jazz House Kids faculty member, Tucker is a trombonist and member of the Harry Connick, Jr. Band who performed in the Duke Ellington Orchestra for more than 12 years.

Named one of Esquire's Best New Restaurants in America in 2015, Jockey Hollow Bar & Kitchen of Morristown, headed by visionary restaurateur Chris Cannon and renowned executive chef Kevin Sippel, exclusively caters the event, creating an exceptional menu to celebrate the great eras of jazz and culture. High-quality selections of wine are chosen by Jazz House Kids' Board Member Emeritus Jason DeSalvo and Amanti Vino proprietor Sharon Sevrens. New this year, a specialty drink cocktail bar sponsored by William Grant & Sons will be featured in the Winter Garden Ballroom. The evening will also feature live and silent auctions.

"For the past seven years, Body & Soul has been one of the town's most highly anticipated social events of the season, where professional jazz musicians, community leaders and new and old friends mingle and mix," said Melissa Walker, president and founder of Jazz House Kids. "This year, we are so excited to be stepping up and stepping out with the addition of the Winter Garden Ballroom, where our guests can spread out and dance in 1920s style. With an incredible menu from one of the nation's hottest restaurants, this promises to be another amazing event while raising vital funds to support Jazz House Kids."

Body & Soul supports the Jazz House Kids Education Fund, which provides in-school jazz education programs and instruments for 530 students from 16 urban schools in four New Jersey counties. At the Jazz House in Montclair, students ages 8 to 18 who hail from more than 45 school districts participate in a wide range of music education programs and nationally recognized student ensembles. The organization never turns students away because of financial limitations. Thirty-five percent of families pay significantly reduced, sliding scale tuition for classes, private lessons and the intensive Jazz House Summer Workshop led by GRAMMY Award-winning bassist and Jazz House Kids Artistic Chair, Christian McBride. A hallmark of Jazz House Kids is its many performances throughout the year in partnership with community organizations and businesses. Last year, Jazz House Kids students performed before 20,000 people, many of whom attended the organization's signature event, its "no tickets required" Montclair Jazz Festival. Held each August, the festival attracts 8,000 music fans from the East Coast and beyond.

Over the past 14 years, Jazz House Kids has built a national reputation by bridging the gap in the arts and delivering authentic jazz education and performance experiences to thousands of young people.

More Information: https://www.jazzhousekids.org

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